Joseph Andrew Stack, the man who reportedly flew a small airplane into an IRS building in Austin, Texas, this morning posted a manifesto of his frustrations before he took to the air. In Stack’s ranting there are, as many are likely to point out, echoes of the frustrations that mark Tea Party expressions. In Colorado, as elsewhere, Tea Party rallying cries include “listen to me” and “give me back my country.” Tea Partiers and the politicians who are looking to win their votes, talk about a government gone off the rails, the neglected Constitution, eroding freedom. Although everyone can see the relationship between Stack’s actions and those of the 9/11 terrorists, his motivations are also reminiscent of those of the 9/11 terroists, even though those motivations seemed to elude Americans for so long. Stack railed against corporate greed and our related dysfunctional democracy.
The last two years have brought the global financial meltdown, the bank bailouts, angry political protests against health reform orchestrated by insurance and medical corporations, a record increase in corporate political donations, continued domination of the legislative process by the financial sector and the Citizens United Supreme Court ruling lowering regulations on corporate campaign advertising. On Tuesday, some Greek version of Stack bombed the offices of J.P. Morgan Chase in Athens. There will be more attacks. Stack was not right or left. He may or may not have been a Tea Partier. From his manifesto, he appears to have been a democrat, small d, driven mad with frustration and powerlessness.
Here is just one paragraph from Stack’s manifesto:
Why is it that a handful of thugs and plunderers can commit unthinkable atrocities (and in the case of the GM executives, for scores of years) and when it’s time for their gravy train to crash under the weight of their gluttony and overwhelming stupidity, the force of the full federal government has no difficulty coming to their aid within days if not hours? Yet at the same time, the joke we call the American medical system, including the drug and insurance companies, are murdering tens of thousands of people a year and stealing from the corpses and victims they cripple, and this country’s leaders don’t see this as important as bailing out a few of their vile, rich cronies. Yet, the political “representatives” (thieves, liars, and self-serving scumbags is far more accurate) have endless time to sit around for year after year and debate the state of the “terrible health care problem”. It’s clear they see no crisis as long as the dead people don’t get in the way of their corporate profits rolling in.
And here is the Wall Street Journal today:
On Tuesday a bomb exploded at J.P. Morgan Chase & Co.’s offices in Athens, Greece. No one was injured, but the blast was symbolic of a bigger issue facing regulators worldwide: their lack of response to the financial crisis of the last two years has created a ticking time bomb…
Our shadow government, the financial industrial complex, is our potential Greece. High unemployment lingers, higher interest rates are on the horizon and U.S. aid to the mortgage markets is coming to an end. Government guarantees in the markets will be withdrawn leaving them exposed to the whims of confidence. Amid that uncertain state, Wall Street is chugging along as if the last few years were merely a blip….
Joseph Andrew Stack was a terrorist. Like other terrorists and would-be terrorists, he didn’t hate our freedoms; he wanted more of them.